Saliu Popoola

Saliu Popoola (born 7 August 1994) is a Nigerian professional footballer who plays as a midfielder for Moroccan club Wydad Fès. He is also a Nigerian international.[2]

Saliu Popoola
Saliu Popoola Rio 2016.jpg
Popoola at the 2016 Olympics
Personal information
Full name Saliu Popoola Sodiq
Date of birth (1994-08-07) 7 August 1994 (age 28)
Place of birth Lagos, Nigeria
Height 1.57 m (5 ft 2 in)[1]
Position(s) Midfielder
Youth career
36 Lions
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2012–2016 Metz 0 (0)
2014–2016Seraing (loan) 51 (4)
2017–2020 Ittihad Khemisset 29 (1)
2020– Wydad Fès 5 (0)
National team
2016 Nigeria U23 5 (0)
*Club domestic league appearances and goals, correct as of 20:59, 1 August 2021 (UTC)

Measuring only 1.57 m, he was considered, in 2015, to be the third smallest professional player in the world.[3] With the Nigeria U23 team, he won the bronze medal at the 2016 Summer Olympics.


Popoola joined FC Metz in August 2012, after a successful trial with the team. He would play for the reserves in the CFA. The following season, he made two appearances in the Coupe de France, but none in Ligue 2 where the Metz first team played.[4]

In lack of playing time, he was sent on a two-season loan to Belgian club Seraing for two seasons, until June 2016.[4] With a height of only 1.57 m, he was then the smallest professional player playing in Belgium.[5] With Seraing, he made 51 appearances in the Belgian second division, scoring 4 goals.[4] Most notably, he scored a brace against Heist on 29 November 2015, which proved to be the key to the 5–2 win.[6]

In September 2016, having still not made a league appearance for the Metz first-team, he terminated his contract with the club by mutual consent.[7]


Nigeria U23


  1. ^ Popoola Saliu Archived 26 November 2016 at the Wayback Machine.
  2. ^ Oluwashina Okeleji (24 June 2016). "Kelechi Iheanacho included in Nigeria's Olympics squad". BBC Sport. Retrieved 25 June 2016.
  3. ^ ""Etre le plus petit joueur en Europe est une fierté"". RTBF Sport (in French). 17 March 2015.
  4. ^ a b c "Saliu Popoola - Wydad Fès". Retrieved 1 August 2021.
  5. ^ "Seraing United: Saliu Popoola, le plus petit joueur en Belgique!". (in French). 8 August 2014.
  6. ^ "RFC Seraing 5-2 Heist - 28 novembre 2015 / Division 2 2015/2016". Retrieved 1 August 2021.
  7. ^ "Popoola Saliu n'honorera pas sa dernière année de contrat". L'Équipe (in French). 20 September 2016.

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